At IE, we pride ourselves on having an international and diverse Alumni Community, where there are many inspiring stories of professional and personal journeys to be told. Women, of course, is a big part of that community, providing a vivid image on how to thrive in professional and personal life.

This week we have interviewed our Executive MBA Alumna María Escuer, the Founder of Leadem, an innovative company created to develop a new way of recruiting and retaining talent. The Leadem Method uses a specific approach to retaining talent which consists on the 3 different values of the candidate: professional, personal and societal values; what is called a Leadem Triangle.


María’s story includes several countries stretching from Spain to Algeria, involves making decisions that your mother might not always approve (like resigning your job at the European Union), taking bold steps in your life (like moving to a foreign country with kids and starting a new professional community), not having fear for having variations in your bank account as an entrepreneur and how sometimes we need to take a step back to re-evaluate.

We hope that you enjoy reading about María’s inspiring story and her useful insights for other women in the workforce.

1. Tell us about yourself and your actual role at the moment.

I am the Founder of Leadem, the company, and the co-founder of Leadem Community I consider myself a citizen of the world, Spanish by chance. With an international profile, I started my studies in Barcelona, then worked in Lausanne, London, Madrid, Paris, Brussels, Algiers and back to Paris.

Passionate about international and human relations since I was a kid, I was in charge of the postcards corner at my mother’s shop at the age of 4. I decided to specialize in International Relations and started to work for the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and therefore for the CCE in Paris.

Two years later, the European Commission offered me a job in Brussels just two months after my wedding, and, of course, I accepted! But who says no to the EU? Later on, my husband got an interesting position in Algiers and I decided it would be the right time for children: so I quit the EU (I can still hear my mother telling me, “You are crazy!! Who resigns from the EU??”) I moved to Algiers, had 2 children, completed an Executive MBA and created Leadem Community and my own company.




The most important tip: Be Realistic. Trying to create the perfect day schedule could turn quickly into a nightmare if you are too optimistic or self-demanding (I am!). Then, you get stressed, frustrated and of course, veeery tiredè You are Less Productive!


Forget about One-hour slot. Be Pragmatic. Make 2 lists the day before: a) Real available working time, once you have discounted the cooking, cleaning, kids’ hours... and b) Tasks/Work needed to be accomplished on the following day.


Danger of multitasking when you WFH. Be Focus. You have too many reasons to multitasking when you are teleworking: laundry, kids, friends’ calls, social media, Netflix, your worried mother… then, if you want to get tasks done and reduce your stress: please, do one thing at a time.


Don’t become obsessed with a tight schedule. Be Flexible and Creative. If you have kids you perfectly understand my point… but it is still not easy…Use short breaks to quickly answer your emails (short texts) and long breaks (be as isolated as you can) to produce work. Use also part of your weekend if needed: no more than 30% of it to avoid Groundhog Day syndrome.


Involve your family (physically or online) in your ‘nonwork/non-leisure activities. Be an Optimizer. Cook, tidy-up, do some sports with them. You will enjoy their presence sharing moments that will last forever.

Accompagnement, Conseil et Formations Professionnelles

Maria Escuer 

(+33) 651.23.51.32